One of the most scenic places in Busan: Dong-baek (Island) Park

Dongbaek Island Park is one of the few places in Busan I’ve said these past two years “I must come back here.”

I wish I had my camera with me earlier tonight when traversing through Dong baek Island Park again here in Busan.  It was my second trip this most scenic Busan Park.  The first time was when I ran a 10k run for Breast Cancer thinking to myself, I HAVE to come back to this place when I’m not dying of exhaustion and physical pain some other day (it was my first 10k run & I was INCREDIBLY OUT OF SHAPE).

Actually, funny story about that run: I was getting passed up by everyone.  I mean everyone including kids that were literally 1/3 my age.  After a while, I just couldn’t keep up with even the kids.  However, I told myself I wouldn’t get beat by this one grandma who kept on coming up behind me and passing me when I would slow down to walk.  Each time, I started to run again to make sure I couldn’t lose to her.  After about 8 kilometers, she came up behind me again to pass me.  I started to run again and passed her again.  The 9th kilometer came up and I didn’t realize it because I was literally in the worst pain in my life.  And here comes granny passing me again, but this time she had grand-sonny with her motivating her not to stop this time.  I didn’t realize we were so close to the end & thought we had quite a bit left so I gave up…

Well, 200 meters left and I didn’t realize the the race was basically over because we had a turn 100 meters from the end.  I lost to granny.  I was humiliated.  Nevertheless, I was happy at least I finished the race and found this incredibly scenic Busan area called Dongbaek Park.  Other famous landmarks near/on it in Centum city are the Westin Josun.  The Westin Josun (or spelled the Westin Chosun sometimes) sits right on this beautiful piece of land.  Also, the APEC House sits on this impressing park island.  Here’s a couple beautiful pics of the house:

APEC House at Dongbaek

Here’s another upclose picture of the APEC House on Dong baek Island Park in Busan.

Up close view of the APEC House on Dongbaek Island in Busan

One more picture of the APEC House on Dong baek Island Park:

More of the APEC house on Dongbaek Island in Busan up close

A view of the APEC house and Dong baek Island Park from the sea:

dongbaek island view from the seas

Here’s a nice view of the walkway that we hiked on around the island park.  It doesn’t take too long — only about 15 minutes around the entire Dongbaek Island.

Dongbaek Island Walkway

Here’s a night view across from Dongbaek Island just on the other side in Centum where all the highrises are. It wouldn’t be a bad place to live, if I could buy or rent a unit there & have a job here in Busan nearby:

High Rise Apt and commercial buildings across from Dongbaek Island Park in Busan

The view to the West from Dongbaek Park was more beautiful this summer Busan evening, but again, I’m sorry we didn’t bring a camera like the other 100 Koreans who did.  I’m so surprised there aren’t better photos online (actually, there probably are, but on Korean websites that I’d have to search in Hangul to find them).  The view is of the very scenic Kwangali Bridge (I think):

Scenic view to the west from Dongbaek - Gwangali (Kwangali) Bridge

To the north, a very scenic view of many residential and commercial buildings:

scenic view to the north from Dongbaek Island Park

On the south end of the park, they built this very long wooden walkway that lets you feel the water crash against the rocks up close. An impressive construction project to say the least and a great feature of the island for the visitors:

dongbaek park wooden walkway

Another picture of the Dongbaek Park walkway with more of the rock formations:

another picture of the dongbaek island park wooden walkway with more rock formations

A beautiful Korean pagoda sits on top of Dongbaek Island park:

Dongbaek Island Park Pagoda

Here’s more about the Island:

Dongbaek Island, Busan officially known as Busan Metropolitan City Memorial was said to be an island in old days. With passage of time accumulation of soil and sand carried by Chuncheon Stream from Jung-dong, Jwa-dong, and U-dong region finally formed a narrow land bridge between the island and the shore along Haeundae Beach. Still the place is popularly called as an island. Dense wood of camellias and pine trees makes Dongbaek Island, Busan one of the most beautiful Tourist Attractions in Busan.

Dongbaek Island is directly accessible from Haeundae Beach. Busan Dongbaek Island houses a park called Dongbaek Park which boasts of a beautifully landscapes with paved walkways, pagodas and camellia trees. The park is actually named after these camellia trees as it is Dongbaek is for Korean for camellia trees. The paved walkways are shaded by the branches of the trees lining the path. There is a hammock in the park which houses a statue of Choi Chi-wan along with a rock with the phrase “Haeundae” carved by Choi Chi-wan himself.

Along with the bronze statue a monument was erected in his memory at Dongbaek Island in Busan. The Haeundae Carved Stone, located at the southern end of Busan Haedong Dongbaek Island is titled as Busan Metropolitan City Memorial. Choi Chi-wan was a reputed scholar in time of the Shillia Dynasty in Korea. He was born some where near Namcheon River in Gyeongju in 857 AD. He became a scholar at a tender age of 18. He became famous and held a high post in the office of the government. The legend is that while Choi Chi-son was passing by this island and the beach on his way to Gaya-san he was so overwhelmed by the scenic beauty of the place that he gave up his prestigious position in the administrative department and started living here. He built a base and engraved the word Haeundae after ‘Hae-un’, his pen name.

On the shore of the island where the rock wall ends sits a statue of a mermaid. The statue symbolized the heart touching love story of the princess of Topaz in the Naranda country located beyond the Sea.

The island is famous for its beautiful scenery surrounded by tall camellias and thick pine groves. In nice weather, you can even see the Japanese Daema Island (Tsushima). The trek around the island as well as the trail leading up to the top are popular hiking trails, and the mermaid statue on the sea-side rock is also very well known. This island will play host to the 2005 APEC summit, and thus is poised to gain international fame.

To get there by subway, get out of the Dongbaek stop on the green line (line 2) and also Buses 15, 32, 35, 33, 35, 59, 66, 69-1, 75, 110, 110-1, 120, 128, 128-1, 131, 131-1, 133, 160, 188, 189-1, 202-1, 302, 307, 307-1 supposedly can get you near there.

If these directions don’t help you get to the Island, you can also just go to the Westin Chosun & their website is here.

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